Local author and creative parenting expert, Nikki Bush, knows the importance of being on top of your parenting game when it comes to guiding your children through the quagmire known as the internet.
She and co-author Arthur Goldstuck published a know-how guide called Tech-Savvy Parenting: A Guide To Raising Safe Children In A Digital World.
In the book, she touches on some valuable points that all parents should take into account.
The internet remembers
Think you’ve deleted an embarrassing picture from Facebook? Think again. “In just the same way as we do regular back-ups of the content on our computers, search engines and social networking sites do exactly the same thing and they keep multiple versions over time – it’s called a cache,” notes Bush.
Your online reputation matters
Everything children put online contribute to their digital footprint. When researching possible candidates for a job position, an employer goes straight to Facebook and Google. So that drunken photo from five years ago may come back to haunt them.
The internet is able to track all our online activities, remembering:
Important questions to ask before posting online:
This is the real world
It’s easier to post insulting remarks online because no one can see who you are. Bush advises parents to ask their children, “If I was alone, would I do this?” Or “If I was feeling strong, would I do this? The same goes for online behaviour: rather be a stand-out positive brand of one than follow a bunch of sheep into trouble,” she says.
Looking for attention?
“Everyone wants to be noticed and everyone needs to belong to a group. One of the most upsetting things that can happen to anyone, but particularly to teenagers, is when they are shut out or left out,” writes Bush.
The result can be that youngsters do terrible things to themselves and others out of anger, spite or loneliness. Safety first, even online
Sadly, there are bad people preying on children who are not aware of the safely aspects of surfing the Net. There’s a reason Facebook has an age restriction of 13. Don’t let your children convince you to let them have an account before the required age.
Stop, block and tell
If your child is being harassed online or even trolled, teach them the safety mantra of stop, block and tell.
Online safety tips for parents and childen
* Tech-Savvy Parenting: A Guide To Raising Safe Children In A Digital World is available on loot.co.za